A webcast can be generally defined as any media file that is available over the internet for access by others. Essentially, webcasting is broadcasting over the internet. While some media files are protected and can only be viewed over the internet from a particular source, others can be downloaded onto a personal computer. Once downloaded, the media file can be transferred to a portable media device for example, an iPod. Webcasting tools, therefore, help us to post, share, download or play media files online.
A podcast can be described as an audio or video file that is broadcasted, or distributed, via the internet. The file is also portable as it can be transferred to a device such as an iPod. Everything from home-made shows to big-budget productions covering millions of topics are currently available in podcast format. Podcasts are useful in academics not only serving as a source of informal education but as an avenue for sharing lectures and other educational content.
While the term podcast is generally used to refer to both audio and video content, the term vodcast refers specifically to a video file broadcasted over the internet for portable distribution. While audio-based podcasts are limited to an audio medium alone, vodcasts allow for both audio and visual information to be shared. Therefore, vodcasts share the same useful applications as audio-based podcasts but are particularly useful in sharing content that requires visual information.
iTunes U is an extension of iTunes – an online store created by Apple Computers. On iTunes U, a large collection of podcasts and vodcasts, provided by numerous universities and educational institutions, are available for free download. Queen's currently provides lectures, convocation speakers, sporting events and archival materials via iTunes making Queen's related audio and video content freely available to faculty, staff, students, alumni and the general public.
Short for "Simultaneous broadcasting" a simulcast broadcasts programs or events in more than one medium at the same time or over more than one service at the same time. An example of simulcasting in academics would be videotaping a live lecture and having the feed play in a different location.
Webcasting tools allow for:
|The dissemination of lectures||
Students may use the posted lectures for review of the material
Students who are absent from lecture can catch up
|Opportunity to expand distance education learning opportunities||Increase exposure to different learning mediums through podcasting and vodcasting for correspondence courses and programs|
|Learning any time anywhere||With iPods and other PDAs, podcasts and vodcasts can be listened to or watched anywhere, anytime|
|Outreach to the public||iTunes U makes educational podcasts and vodcasts available to anyone. Queen's can communicate its image, and academic initiative to the community at large.|
|Access to broad range of related material, background information or areas of interest||Programs, such as iTunes U, make a huge range of podcasts and vodcasts easily accessible. Whether you make use for this resource to supplement courses, get background information on a topic or just explore your interests, there's a podcast out there on everything and anything – easily downloaded in a few minutes.|
|Pre-lecture||Similar to asking that students do readings before attending lecture, posting podcasts or vodcasts that students are to watch/listen to before class can be used to introduce concepts and begin a thought process|
After recording your lectures, post them online in podcasts or vodcast format for student access, review and reference
Provide access to the materials you referred to in your lecture such as videos or audio clips
|Beyond the classroom||
Stimulate discovery and lifelong learning by referring to interesting podcasts and vodcasts that expand beyond the scope of your course
Resources such as iTunes U provide easy access to “edu-tainment”. Advocating for everyday use of such programs encourages learning outside of the classroom and discovery of interests.